9 Business Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid profit pitfalls with these helpful hints.

Whether it’s a local, family-owned shop or a larger corporation, all businesses are at risk of making some common profit pitfalls. A few seemingly small mistakes can result in substantial profit losses that can eat away at your bottom line. In this post, we’ll discuss some common business mistakes to avoid so that your company can reach its full profit potential, including: Using outdated business models or plans is one business mistake to avoid.

  1. Not pivoting in response to change
  2. Using outdated business models or user research
  3. Not utilizing the latest technology
  4. Not “asking” for the sale
  5. Forgetting to follow up with past customers
  6. Ignoring the power of excellent customer service
  7. Failing to invest in marketing or marketing inconsistently
  8. Not adopting socially responsible business practices
  9. Not paying attention to your “Triple Bottom Line”

Keep reading to learn more about each of these common business mistakes – and how you can avoid them.

Not pivoting in response to change

In times of crisis like the pandemic we’re facing now, companies must review their business model to look for ways they may need to pivot in response. If you’re struggling to remain relevant, consider altering the way you do business. Just as restaurants have shifted to a curbside, take-out and delivery model, we’ve expanded our service offering to include residential delivery to ensure our customers get the items they need when they need them. We’re also responding with support for our employees with full pay for those who choose to help in-need nonprofits. We all know that the one certainty in life is change, so it’s essential to be ready and willing to adapt to the changing tides.

Using outdated business models or user research

Many businesses struggle to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and changes in their industry, which can lead them to use outdated information or “best” practices that can be harmful. Because the world and consumer interests/expectations are changing so quickly, staying up to date means continuously pursuing the latest research and industry standards. Some easy ways to avoid this business mistake include:

  • Attending online or in-person conferences and webinars
  • Continuous updates to employee training
  • Annual revisions and review of company policies and business strategies

Not utilizing the latest technology

Technology continues to exceed our wildest expectations in terms of its ability to save businesses time and money. With so many helpful tools at our literal fingertips, it’s alarming how many businesses choose instead to operate the same as they would’ve, say 10 or 20 years ago. If you’re not making consistent use of technology in both your business operations and how you serve your customers, your company may not bring in as much profit as you could be.

Not “asking” for the sale

This common business mistake to avoid involves being too hesitant when it comes to driving customer action. Opportunities pass businesses by because they fear coming off as too “pushy” or seemingly obnoxious. However, customers aren’t going to act unless you make clear what you want them to do. Asking for the sale means strategically guiding your customers from their first interaction to the closing sale/deal.

Forgetting to follow up with past customers

With costs between five and 25 times higher to acquire a new customer than to retain existing ones, successful businesses understand that it is much easier to reactivate former customers than to attract new ones. Companies who do not have a plan to touch base with previous customers may reduce their profit potential. To overcome this problem, consider developing and implementing a strategy for customer follow up using emails, phone calls, or other tools in your arsenal.

Ignoring the power of excellent customer service

Successful businesses understand just how powerful excellent customer service is. From personalized experiences to loyalty perks, shoppers enjoy the royal treatment – and they’ve even come to expect it from companies in many different industries! Therefore, investing in stellar customer service training is key to ensuring customer loyalty and happiness.

Need help with customer service? Review our blogs on 6 tried-and-true customer service skills every business should master and 5 customer service skills to help you when the customer isn’t right.

Failing to invest in marketing or marketing inconsistently

Another commonly overlooked part of the puzzle is marketing. While your business can sell the best product or service, no one will know about it without a solid marketing strategy and cohesive effort. Some companies also try the “stop and start” method where they inconsistently invest in marketing for a short period, hoping that something will hit the bullseye. However, marketing takes time and consistent effort, so if you genuinely want your business to succeed in the long run, you need to be willing and able to invest in a longer-term plan.

Not adopting socially responsible business practices

Social responsibility means that you hold your business accountable for the ways your company’s operations impact the environment. Many companies fail to consider the environmental implications of their actions, which not only hurts the planet, but it can also adversely affect their bottom line. Because customers are increasingly demanding accountability, companies that take the initiative find themselves at a competitive advantage.

If you want to avoid this business mistake and become more socially responsible, check out our articles on tips for adopting a business sustainability program and how to practice the 5 Rs of sustainability.

Not paying attention to your “Triple Bottom Line”

Many businesses fail to understand that there isn’t just one bottom line – there’s three. The triple bottom line theory includes two other equally important factors: the social and environmental impacts of your company. When businesses combine profit, planet, and people, they can reap benefits, such as enhanced brand reputation, improved employee satisfaction, and so much more!

These common business mistakes are certainly ones you want to avoid! For more productivity, office life, and sustainable business tips, continue to our blog.

EZ Office Products is your local supplier for everything business. Shop for office productivity supplies online or call our local customer concierge to set up your business account at (608) 310-4300 today.